“I am not a perfect but I try to live my life based on my understanding of the will of God as written in Islam’s sacred text, the Holy Quran. God says in the Quran that the wonderful diversity around us is part of His creative wisdom. And God urges us to not just merely acknowledge that diversity but to energetically engage with that diversity. To fulfill this obligation, I have to promote not just mere tolerance but genuine love and respect for those whose life choices and world views may be different from mine. In the Quran, God says that He has created human beings in the best of molds and favored them above the rest of His creation. So God honors and cherishes human beings regardless of their backgrounds rooted in different faiths, races, nationality, sexual orientation and sexual identity. To put my faith into practice, I am coming out as a straight ally.” - Parvez Ahmed
Parvez Ahmed is Director of Center for Sustainable Business Practices and Professor of Finance at the Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida (UNF). In 2009 he was named a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Prior to joining UNF he taught at Penn State University in Harrisburg and University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he also served as the founding Faculty Advisor for the Student Managed Investment Fund. At PSU he was also the Associate Director of the Giant Food Center for Economic Development. He has led student study abroad programs to London, Paris, Turkey and Egypt. His research work has appeared in several major finance journals such as the Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Management, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Investing, and Financial Review. In addition his papers have been published in Applied Economic Letters, Global Business and Finance Review, International Review of Economics, Managerial Finance, Journal of Wealth Management, and Journal of Alternative Investments. He coauthored a book titled, “Mutual Funds – Fifty Years of Research Findings.” The book is published by Springer. He also published an article in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. Currently he is a member of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Commission. He also serves on the boards of Museum of Science and History, and the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. In 2010 Folio Weekly named him “Person of the Year.” In 2014 he was awarded the Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award by OneJax. In 2015 he was named Arthur Vining Davis Fellow to the Aspen Ideas Festival. In addition Dr. Ahmed writes editorials about Islam and the American Muslim experience. He is a regular contributor to Huffington Post. Dr. Ahmed also teaches a special 10-week course titled, “Islam-the faith, the people and their politics,” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in UNF.